SUMMARY: Two people, from the end of the war to the discovery of passion. Ever after is not a destination but a road we all must travel. AU from early season 2.

08/29/10 - REVISED VERSION! This story started in early season 2 of ATLA, before even Toph was introduced, as an end-of-the-war future romance AU. Very AU. It is a series of drabbles, some quite short and some longer. I am revising the chapters to give a bit more depth, to fix minor errors, and to remind myself all the details of what's going on. After I'm done replacing these, I will update with at least two more chapters. Eventually this would have approximately 20 or so drabbles remaining.

Fanfic title comes from The Smashing Pumpkins song, "Thru The Eyes Of Ruby," my vote for possibly the most poetic lyrics they've ever written.

Paula Cole-"I Don't Wanna Wait"


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Before

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Two weeks before the final battle Katara learns their father will not be returning home from the war. A letter is tossed into her hands from a farmer on village cart; it catches on her fingernails and when she reads the missive inside, the dry paper rips halfway through. An hour of grief, two at the most, and then they are moving again, footsteps from sand to deck, because their father is dead from war and the war does not care.

She and Sokka accept this because acceptance is all they have time for.

The century of strife is almost ended; the rise of the Avatar is near complete. Space for private grief exists between falling to a cot and rising with the foghorns, but still the siblings sacrifice sleep to spend their nights talking. They reminisce about tigerseal pelts and canoe rides, and in between the memories they console as only family has the power to do.

"I miss his hands." Holding up her own in the candle light, she finds them insufficient. "His hands were always warm."

Her brother leans his head against her shoulder and says, "I miss the songs. I keep thinking that we will never hear him sing to us again."

"I don't remember all of them," whispers Katara. "I should have listened better."